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Asymmetric Stakes In Antitrust Litigation, Erik Hovenkamp, Steven C. Salop Mar 2020

Asymmetric Stakes In Antitrust Litigation, Erik Hovenkamp, Steven C. Salop

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Private antitrust litigation often involves a dominant firm being accused of exclusionary conduct by a smaller rival or entrant. Importantly, the firms in such cases generally have asymmetric stakes: the defendant typically has a much larger financial interest on the line. We explore the broad policy implications of this fact using a novel model of litigation with endogenous effort. Asymmetric stakes lead dominant defendants to invest systematically more resources into litigation, causing the plaintiff's success probability to fall below the efficient level--a distortion that carries over to ex ante settlements. We explain that enhanced damages may reduce the problem ...


The Rule Of Reason, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

The Rule Of Reason, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust’s rule of reason was born out of a thirty-year (1897-1927) division among Supreme Court Justices about the proper way to assess multi-firm restraints on competition. By the late 1920s the basic contours of the rule for restraints among competitors was roughly established. Antitrust policy toward vertical restraints remained much more unstable, however, largely because their effects were so poorly understood.

This article provides a litigation field guide for antitrust claims under the rule of reason – or more precisely, for situations when application of the rule of reason is likely. At the time pleadings are drafted and even up ...


Class Warfare: Why Antitrust Class Actions Are Essential For Compensation And Deterrence, Robert H. Lande Apr 2016

Class Warfare: Why Antitrust Class Actions Are Essential For Compensation And Deterrence, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

Recent empirical studies demonstrate five reasons why antitrust class action cases are essential: (1) class actions are virtually the only way for most victims of antitrust violations to receive compensation; (2) most successful class actions involve collusion that was anticompetitive; (3) class victims’ compensation has been modest, generally less than their damages; (4) class actions deter significant amounts of collusion and other anticompetitive behavior; and (5) anticompetitive collusion is underdeterred, a problem that would be exacerbated without class actions. Unfortunately, a number of court decisions have undermined class action cases, thus preventing much effective and important antitrust enforcement.


Antitrust Balancing, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2016

Antitrust Balancing, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust litigation often confronts situations where effects point in both directions. Judges sometimes describe the process of evaluating these factors as “balancing.” In its e-Books decision the Second Circuit believed that the need to balance is what justifies application of the rule of reason. In Microsoft the D.C. Circuit stated that “courts routinely apply a…balancing approach” under which “the plaintiff must demonstrate that the anticompetitive harm…outweighs the procompetitive benefit.” But then it decided the case without balancing anything.

The term “balancing” is a very poor label for what courts actually do in these cases. Balancing requires that ...


Not Treble Damages: Cartel Recoveries Are Mostly Less Than Single Damages, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande Jul 2015

Not Treble Damages: Cartel Recoveries Are Mostly Less Than Single Damages, John M. Connor, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

Antitrust law provides treble damages for victims of antitrust violations, but the vast majority of private cases settle. The average or median size of these settlements relative to the overcharges involved has, until now, been only the subject of anecdotes or speculation. To ascertain what we term "Recovery Ratios," we assembled a sample consisting of every completed private U.S. cartel case discovered from 1990 to mid-2014 for which we could find the necessary information. For each of these 71 cases we collected, we assembled neutral scholarly estimates of affected commerce and overcharges. We compared these to the damages secured ...


The Actavis Inference: Theory And Practice, Aaron S. Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro Apr 2015

The Actavis Inference: Theory And Practice, Aaron S. Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In FTC v. Actavis, Inc., the Supreme Court considered "reverse payment" settlements of patent infringement litigation. In such a settlement, a patentee pays the alleged infringer to settle, and the alleged infringer agrees not to enter the market for a period of time. The Court held that a reverse payment settlement violates antitrust law if the patentee is paying to avoid competition. The core insight of Actavis is the Actavis Inference: a large and otherwise unexplained payment, combined with delayed entry, supports a reasonable inference of harm to consumers from lessened competition.

This paper is an effort to assist courts ...


Actavis And Error Costs: A Reply To Critics, Aaron S. Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro Oct 2014

Actavis And Error Costs: A Reply To Critics, Aaron S. Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court’s opinion in Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc. provided fundamental guidance about how courts should handle antitrust challenges to reverse payment patent settlements. In our previous article, Activating Actavis, we identified and operationalized the essential features of the Court’s analysis. Our analysis has been challenged by four economists, who argue that our approach might condemn procompetitive settlements.

As we explain in this reply, such settlements are feasible, however, only under special circumstances. Moreover, even where feasible, the parties would not actually choose such a settlement in equilibrium. These considerations, and others discussed in the reply ...


Patent Exclusions And Antitrust After Therasense, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2013

Patent Exclusions And Antitrust After Therasense, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A patent may be held invalid if it was obtained by “inequitable conduct” before the PTO during the process of patent prosecution. In its Therasense decision the Federal Circuit imposed severe requirements against those attempting to defend against a patent on the basis of inequitable conduct, insisting that inequitable conduct be measured essentially by a subjective test. Objective “reasonable person” tests such as negligence or even gross negligence will not suffice. By contrast, the Supreme Court has insisted that the conduct giving rise to a wrongful infringement action violating the antitrust laws be initially based on an objective test – whether ...


Activating Actavis, Aaron Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro Oct 2013

Activating Actavis, Aaron Edlin, C. Scott Hemphill, Herbert J. Hovenkamp, Carl Shapiro

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., the Supreme Court provided fundamental guidance about how courts should handle antitrust challenges to reverse payment patent settlements. The Court came down strongly in favor of an antitrust solution to the problem, concluding that “an antitrust action is likely to prove more feasible administratively than the Eleventh Circuit believed.” At the same time, Justice Breyer’s majority opinion acknowledged that the Court did not answer every relevant question. The opinion closed by “leav[ing] to the lower courts the structuring of the present rule-of-reason antitrust litigation.”

This article is an effort to help ...


Innovation And Competition Policy, Ch. 3 (2nd Ed.): Harm To Competition Or Innovation, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2013

Innovation And Competition Policy, Ch. 3 (2nd Ed.): Harm To Competition Or Innovation, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This book of CASES AND MATERIALS ON INNOVATION AND COMPETITION POLICY is intended for educational use. The book is free for all to use subject to an open source license agreement. It differs from IP/antitrust casebooks in that it considers numerous sources of competition policy in addition to antitrust, including those that emanate from the intellectual property laws themselves, and also related issues such as the relationship between market structure and innovation, the competitive consequences of regulatory rules governing technology competition such as net neutrality and interconnection, misuse, the first sale doctrine, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA ...


Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction Under The Antitrust Laws, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Feb 2013

Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction Under The Antitrust Laws, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Ninth Circuit may soon consider whether challenges to antitrust activity that occurs abroad must invariably be addressed under the rule of reason, which will make criminal prosecution difficult or impossible.

When antitrust cases involve foreign conduct, the courts customarily appraise its substantive antitrust significance only after deciding whether the Sherman Act reaches the activity. Nevertheless, "jurisdictional" and "substantive" inquiries are not wholly independent. Both reflect two sound propositions: that Congress did not intend American antitrust law to rule the entire commercial world and that Congress knew that domestic economic circumstances often differ from those abroad where mechanical application of ...


Merger Settlement And Enforcement Policy For Optimal Deterrence And Maximum Welfare, Steven C. Salop Jan 2013

Merger Settlement And Enforcement Policy For Optimal Deterrence And Maximum Welfare, Steven C. Salop

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Merger enforcement today relies on settlements more than litigation to resolve anti-competitive concerns. The impact of settlement policy on welfare and the proper goals of settlement policy are highly controversial. Some argue that gun-shy agencies settle for too little while others argue that agencies use their power to delay to extract over-reaching settlement terms, even when mergers are not welfare-reducing. This article uses decision theory to throw light on this controversy. The goal of this article is to formulate and analyze agency merger enforcement and settlement commitment policies in the face of imperfect information, litigation costs, and delay risks by ...


Competition In Information Technologies: Standards-Essential Patents, Non-Practicing Entities And Frand Bidding, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2012

Competition In Information Technologies: Standards-Essential Patents, Non-Practicing Entities And Frand Bidding, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Standard Setting is omnipresent in networked information technologies. Virtually every cellular phone, computer, digital camera or similar device contains technologies governed by a collaboratively developed standard. If these technologies are to perform competitively, the processes by which standards are developed and implemented must be competitive. In this case attaining competitive results requires a mixture of antitrust and non-antitrust legal tools.

FRAND refers to a firm’s ex ante commitment to make its technology available at a “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory royalty.” The FRAND commitment results from bidding to have one’s own technology selected as a standard. Typically the FRAND ...


The Strategic Use Of Public And Private Litigation In Antitrust As Business Strategy, D. Daniel Sokol Mar 2012

The Strategic Use Of Public And Private Litigation In Antitrust As Business Strategy, D. Daniel Sokol

UF Law Faculty Publications

This Article claims that there may be a subset of cases in which private rights of action may work with public rights as an effective strategy for a firm to raise costs against rival dominant firms. A competitor firm may bring its own case (which is costly) and/or have government bring a case on its behalf (which is less costly). Alternatively, if the competitor firm has sufficient financial resources, it can pursue an approach that employs both strategies simultaneously. This situation of public and private misuse of antitrust may not happen often. As the Article will explore, it is ...


Antitrust's "Jurisdictional" Reach Abroad, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2011

Antitrust's "Jurisdictional" Reach Abroad, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In its Arbaugh decision the Supreme Court insisted that a federal statute’s limitation on reach be regarded as “jurisdictional” only if the legislature was clear that this is what it had in mind. The Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvement Act (FTAIA) presents a puzzle in this regard, because Congress seems to have been quite clear about what it had in mind; it simply failed to use the correct set of buzzwords in the statute itself, and well before Arbaugh assessed this requirement.

Even if the FTAIA is to be regarded as non-jurisdictional, the constitutional extraterritorial reach of the Sherman Act ...


A Primer On Antitrust Damages, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2011

A Primer On Antitrust Damages, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper considers the theory of antitrust damages and then discusses some simple models for proving them. Antitrust damages theory begins with the premise that many practices alleged to violate the antitrust laws cause no consumer harm. Others are inefficient and have few socially redeeming virtues. Still others may simultaneously increase both the efficiency of the participants and their market power. A perfectly designed antitrust policy would exonerate the first set of practices, condemn the second set, and condemn the third set only when the social cost of the restraint exceeds its social value or they produce net harm to ...


Quantification Of Harm In Private Antitrust Actions In The United States, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Feb 2011

Quantification Of Harm In Private Antitrust Actions In The United States, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper discusses the theory and experience of United States courts concerning the quantification of harm in antitrust cases. This treatment pertains to both the social cost of antitrust violations, and to the private damage mechanisms that United States antitrust law has developed. It is submitted for the Roundtable on the Quantification of Harm to Competition by National Courts and Competition Agencies, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Feb., 2011.

In a typical year more than 90% of antitrust complaints filed in the United States are by private plaintiffs rather than the federal government. Further, when the individual states ...


Leegin, The Rule Of Reason, And Vertical Agreement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2010

Leegin, The Rule Of Reason, And Vertical Agreement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court’s Leegin decision overturned the longstanding rule of per se illegality for resale price maintenance and applied a rule of reason. One might think that the question whether a vertical “agreement” exists between a manufacturer and a dealer should not be affected by the mode of analysis to be applied after an agreement is found. First one asks whether an agreement exists, and determines whether the per se rule or rule of reason applies only after receiving an affirmative answer. Nevertheless, ever since Colgate the Supreme Court has generally taken a more restrictive approach on the agreement ...


Vertical Restraints, Dealers With Power, And Antitrust Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2010

Vertical Restraints, Dealers With Power, And Antitrust Policy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court’s Leegin decision has now brought the rule of reason to all purely vertical intrabrand distribution restraints. But the rule of reason does not mean per se legality and occasions for anticompetitive vertically imposed restraints may still arise. Of all those that have been suggested the most plausible are vertical restraints imposed at the behest of a powerful dealer or group (cartel) of dealers.

Although a vertical distribution restraint resembles a dealer cartel in that both limit intraband competition, a manufacturer restraining the distribution of its product shuns the excess dealer profits a dealer cartel would seek ...


A Decision-Theoretic Rule Of Reason For Minimum Resale Price Maintenance, Thom Lambert Jan 2010

A Decision-Theoretic Rule Of Reason For Minimum Resale Price Maintenance, Thom Lambert

Faculty Publications

This article evaluates these approaches from the perspective of decision theory and, finding each lacking, proposes an alternative approach to structuring the rule of reason governing RPM. Part II sets forth the decision-theoretic perspective, which seeks to maximize the net benefits of liability rules by minimizing the sum of decision and error costs. Part III then evaluates, from the standpoint of decision theory, the proposed approaches to evaluating instances of RPM. Part IV proposes an alternative evaluative approach that is more consistent with decision theory’s insights.


The Pleading Problem In Antitrust Cases And Beyond, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2010

The Pleading Problem In Antitrust Cases And Beyond, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In its Twombly decision the Supreme Court held that an antitrust complaint failed because its allegations did not include enough “factual matter” to justify proceeding to discovery. Two years later the Court extended this new pleading standard to federal complaints generally. Twombly’s broad language has led to a broad rewriting of federal pleading doctrine.

Naked market division conspiracies such as the one pled in Twombly must be kept secret because antitrust enforcers will prosecute them when they are detected. This inherent secrecy, which the Supreme Court did not discuss, has dire consequences for pleading if too much factual specificity ...


New Options For State Indirect Purchaser Legislation: Protecting The Real Victims Of Antitrust Violations, Robert H. Lande Jan 2010

New Options For State Indirect Purchaser Legislation: Protecting The Real Victims Of Antitrust Violations, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

In Illinois Brick v. Illinois Co., the Supreme Court held that, under federal antitrust law, only direct purchasers have standing to sue antitrust violators for damages. Since most products travel through one or more intermediaries before reaching consumers, this decision left most true victims of illegal cartels and other antitrust violations without a remedy to compensate them. Illinois Brick Co. also had the effect of undermining the objective of optimal deterrence of antitrust violations-because direct purchasers often have a suboptimal incentive to sue, the Court's decision often allows violators to escape paying significant damages. For this reason firms are ...


Did We Avoid Historical Failures Of Antitrust Enforcement During The 2008-2009 Financial Crisis?, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2010

Did We Avoid Historical Failures Of Antitrust Enforcement During The 2008-2009 Financial Crisis?, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

During both economic crises and wars, times of severe national anxiety, antitrust has taken a back seat to other political and regulatory objectives. Antitrust enforcement has often been a political luxury good, consumed only during periods of relative peace and prosperity. In 1890, the Sherman Act's adoption kicked off the era of national antitrust enforcement. Barely three years later, the panic of 1893 provided the first major test to the national appetite for antitrust enforcement. Perhaps 1893 should not be included in the story: antitrust was still young, and it was not even clear that the Sherman Act applied ...


Optimizing Private Antitrust Enforcement, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2010

Optimizing Private Antitrust Enforcement, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Private litigation is the predominant means of antitrust enforcement in the United States. Other jurisdictions around the world are increasingly implementing private enforcement models. Private enforcement is usually justified on either compensation or deterrence grounds. While the choice between these two goals matters, private litigation is not very effective at advancing either one. Compensation fails because the true economic victims of most antitrust violations are usually downstream consumers who are too numerous and remote to locate and compensate. Deterrence is ineffective because the time lag between the planning of the violation and the legal judgment day is usually so long ...


Does Monopoly Broth Make Bad Soup?, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2010

Does Monopoly Broth Make Bad Soup?, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

There is an oft-repeated maxim in U.S. antitrust law that a monopolist's conduct must be examined in its totality in order to determine its legality. Judges admonish that plaintiffs "should be given the full benefit of their proof without tightly compartmentalizating the various factual components and wiping the slate clean after scrutiny of each." As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit stated in much-quoted language, "It is the mix of various ingredients ... in a monopoly broth that produces the unsavory flavor."' In this article, I examine the use and misuse of monopoly broth theories ...


Slides: Water Leasing In The Lower Arkansas Valley: The "Super Ditch Company", Peter Nichols Jun 2009

Slides: Water Leasing In The Lower Arkansas Valley: The "Super Ditch Company", Peter Nichols

Western Water Law, Policy and Management: Ripples, Currents, and New Channels for Inquiry (Martz Summer Conference, June 3-5)

Presenter: Peter NIchols, Trout, Raley, Montano, Witwer & Freeman, Denver, CO

28 slides


The Walker Process Doctrine: Infringement Lawsuits As Antitrust Violations, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Sep 2008

The Walker Process Doctrine: Infringement Lawsuits As Antitrust Violations, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust law's Walker Process doctrine permits a patent infringement defendant to show that an improperly maintained infringement action constitutes unlawful monopolization or an unlawful attempt to monopolize. The infringement defendant must show both that the lawsuit is improper, which establishes the conduct portion of the violation and generally satisfies tort law requirements, and also that the structural prerequisites for the monopolization offense are present. The doctrine also applies to non-patent infringement actions and has been applied by the Supreme Court to copyright infringement actions. Walker Process itself somewhat loosely derives from the Supreme Court's Noerr-Pennington line of cases ...


Theories Of Asbestos Litigation Costs ­ Why Two Decades Of Procedural Reform Have Failed To Reduce Claimants’ Expenses, Jeffrey M. Davidson May 2006

Theories Of Asbestos Litigation Costs ­ Why Two Decades Of Procedural Reform Have Failed To Reduce Claimants’ Expenses, Jeffrey M. Davidson

Student Scholarship Papers

In twenty years of asbestos litigation, procedural reforms at all levels of the civil litigation system have failed to reduce plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees. The result has been dramatic undercompensation of asbestos tort victims. This paper attempts to explain this remarkable fact using economic methodology. The paper offers three theories: First, that the continuing difficulty of assessing causation in asbestos and other mass tort cases predictably impedes the efforts of procedural reform to reduce costs; second, that changes in defendant and insurer risk attitudes have generated costly litigation; third, that collusion of plaintiffs’ attorneys to maintain prices cannot be ruled out ...


Transnational Regulatory Litigation, Hannah Buxbaum Jan 2006

Transnational Regulatory Litigation, Hannah Buxbaum

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Recent years have seen much debate about the role of national courts in addressing global harms. That debate has focused on the application by domestic courts of international law - for instance, in civil actions brought in U.S. courts to enforce human rights law. This article identifies a parallel development in the area of economic regulation. It classifies and analyzes a category of cases that seek the application of regulatory law by domestic courts in situations involving global economic misconduct. Like the public international law cases, these cases highlight the tension between the benefits to be gained by enhanced enforcement ...


Ip And Antitrust Policy: A Brief Historical Overview, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2005

Ip And Antitrust Policy: A Brief Historical Overview, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The history of IP/antitrust litigation is filled with exaggerated notions of the power conferred by IP rights and imagined threats to competition. The result is that antitrust litigation involving IP practices has seen problems where none existed. To be sure, finding the right balance between maintaining competition and creating incentives to innovate is no easy task. However, the judge in an IP/antitrust case almost never needs to do the balancing, most of which is done in the language of the IP provisions. The role of antitrust tribunals is the much more limited one of ensuring that any alleged ...